ok, so it's really only almost 7 years, 4 moves, 2 houses and 3 apartments, 2 dogs, 3 children, 30lbs (collectively), 8 jobs, and many moons AGO we got married. We were married August 10, 2002 at the ripe old ages of 24 (me) and 22 (him). Mere babes I tell ya. Anyway, our photographer recently offered to sell us the negatives and we bought them. We couldn't afford many pictures at the time, so I am thrilled to have these now. I took just a few to a local photo place and they put them on CD for me! It's nice to look back at these photos. In some ways it seems like yesterday, but I also feel like we have lived a lifetime since then.
A lot has changed for all of us since these pictures were taken. Marie, Papaw, Grandma, & Granny have all moved on to heaven. Curry is now a big boy and a Big brother to Caden. Both of them are wonderful big cousins to our little ones. Mamaw and Papaw have great-grand kids. Brandon now has his college degree and I now own my own business. Life has changed for us all in more ways than I could ever put down on this page. In some ways, the changes are good. In others, the changes are painful. Either way, here we are. Here's a glimpse at where we were....
Our engagement picture
Another engagement picture-in case you like us better in black & white
Self-explanatory. I think I look just like dad in this picture.
Our Wedding Party
Me and My girls: Deb, Mindy, Kristen, Suzanne & Amanda
Us with Brandon's Family
Chuck & Deborah singing. She has the best voice I have ever heard. He's not too shabby either. And their baby brother Daniel (not pictured) has his own band. Ridiculously talented family. I wish you could hear them sing.
Me, Mom, Dad, Dustin & Suzanne & Curry -I don't have one with my Grandma in it. We only got 40 negatives (out of 200+) put on disk this time. I need to be sure I get one with her in it next time.
Me & Dustin--love this picture. we don't have many of just us.
Papaw, me and Mom-3 generations. Love this picture. He was still alert and doing well then. It's funny. He means more to me now than he did then. I didn't get to know Papaw nearly as well as Dustin did, b/c we moved away when I was a baby,but what I knew I loved. He showed me his WWII pictures and told me stories. He had a fantastic memory before Alzheimer's stole it away. I love him more now because I relate to him more now. My Papaw fought for special education services and resources 50+ years ago when people we still called retarded and kids were not given special considerations and were basically written off if they weren't 'normal'. Thank God for the pioneers like my Papaw. He paved the way for his great grandchildren without ever even knowing it.
Brandon and his Family. Marie looked really good there.
Me, Mom & Dad
Mom & Dad-great picture.
Walking down the Aisle with Dad-Every little girl dreams of her Dadd walking her down the aisle at her wedding. My Dad had to have MAJOR surgery on his neck in April before our August wedding. His spinal cord was swollen and his vertebrae were threatening to sever the spinal cord with one wrong move. It was really dangerous. He had surgery done at john's Hopkins in Baltimore, and we were grateful he was alive and well, but weren't sure if he would be able to walk at all, much less walk me down the aisle. As you can see, we made it down the aisle. Dad held on to the pews as he walked but he got us down the aisle.
I would be remiss if I did not tell this part of the story. As the wedding march tolled, Dad looked at me and said, "Are you sure you want to do this? Because if not, say the word, and we are out of here". Now, that might sound like his attempt to keep me from marrying Brandon, but that wasn't the case. He liked Brandon as much as he would any guy that I was going to marry. (He LOVES Brandon NOW) The point was, that regardless of how many people were waiting, of money spent, of what people would think, I had a choice. I was more important than any of those things to my parents, and they both made that very clear the day of my wedding. All I had to do was say the word and we would have gotten in the car and gone home, no questions asked. Our wedding was beautiful, and I appreciate that my parents gave that to us, but the freedom to choose was the best gift they could have given me. I walked down the aisle because I loved Brandon, and for no other reason. There was no pressure, and I am so grateful for that.
Seriously the best cake I have ever tasted. It was alternating layers of vanilla and orange cake with buttercream icing--in basket weave. TO DIE FOR. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot left, but we did eat every last bit of it. On our one year anniversary, it was still yummy!
Aunt Sereda & Maxine with Brandon's Guitar Cake
Us outside Mom & Dad's house
We were about to go on our honeymoon. My brother was scurrying from car wash to car wash scrubbing the flour, dish soap concoction off my Honda Passport that Brandon's buddies left us in my parents garage. They tailed someone home the night before the wedding--in another town-- and managed to trash the car anyway. Thanks to Dustin, we did eventually get away.
What's ironic to me about all of these pictures is that the cliche is A picture's worth a thousand words but there is SO much that these pictures just don't tell. For example you can't tell that it's 100 degrees outside and the church air conditioning had been out for over 24 hours. Or that there were box fans at the back of the church (can you say redneck?) You also may not know that I chose out of season flowers that required an extra cool environment, so I paid extra to make sure the thermostat at the church was kept super low to prevent uber wilting. You can't see it, but we got 250 RSVP's so we planned food for 300. Problem is, 350 showed up. The buffet was picked clean and it was hot as hades. You can't tell from the pictures that there were MAJOR family tensions to the degree that we thought 1 side of the family might not even show up for the wedding. My maid of honor offered to get me on a plane to the Bahamas if I just wanted to leave the whole mess behind. Several of my other bridesmaids made similar offers the night before the wedding. You can't tell that the groomsmen got the wrong ties. We don't like bow ties. You also can't tell that one bridesmaid was dealing with a difficult ex on custody of their child for the weekend and we were half expecting the police to show up mid-ceremony. You also can not tell that said bridesmaid was so upset by all of this madness that she threw up everywhere at the rehearsal. You might not be able to see that in spite of all of my strict warnings (and likely as a result of the aforementioned tensions) almonds were served at the rehearsal dinner, and my maid of honor is deathly allergic to almonds so an emergency call was made for an epi-pen the night before the wedding. You can't tell, but I was NOT amused at all that Brandon's friends were planning to dowse us with water and flour after our wedding so we hired a limo just to avoid such an occasion. Then the guys just tracked down our car and did their job there. You can't tell from the pictures, but one bridesmaid's dress was too small and one was too big, and this was discovered the day of the wedding, so a dear friend spent the morning frantically altering both dresses until they fit. In short, it's literally a miracle that we even got down the aisle at all.
I'm very glad we did. Happy Almost-7 years Brando! I love you!